Monster is perhaps the best children’s film to have come out in Tamil cinema in a long time
This is a time when nobody bats an eyelid when in an U-certified film, a man slices his knife through several adversaries — like in last week’s NGK. Children walking around the house pretending to have a knife stuck in their shoulders — as happens to an important female character in NGK — must not be a pleasant sight at all. If it isn’t violence, it’s double entendres — like in Mr. Local. Children asking their parents what ‘kooti kudukardhu’ means — used in a Mr. Local joke — must not be a pleasant question to answer either. So, it was with almost a sense of resignation that I went in to catch the U-certified Monster recently, many days after its release. That it featured SJ Suryah, who has had a rich history of creating colourful films, didn’t do much to quell the alarm either.
And for the next couple of hours, director Nelson Venkatesan proceeded to rubbish every single concern of mine. An utterly delightful film, Monster is perhaps the most enjoyable child-friendly film I’ve seen in a long time in Tamil cinema. Often, our films that are made with the best interests of children in mind often turn out to be simplistic sermons — the Pasanga sequel and a Samuthirakani film or two come to mind. A children’s film is a delicate thing and needs to walk a tight rope. It can’t afford to dumb down concepts and become tiresome for adults. At the same time, it can’t — and this is a familiar mistake — incorporate age-inappropriate ideas to keep the adults interested. Monster gets this balance beautifully. The moving kindness at the heart of this film makes it an important film for children. It conveys this without once sermonising, and while being gloriously entertaining.
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